At least 194 children fell ill after eating midday meal in a government school in Jharkhand’s Godda district on Wednesday.
The incident occurred days after 90 children fell sick after consuming midday meal, allegedly infected by lizard, at Chilga upgraded middle school in Giridih’s Jamua block. Since January, more than 350 students in Jharkhand have fallen ill after having midday meal in schools.
Reports said the Godda schoolchildren were given eggs and banana after the meal. Minutes later, they complained of vomiting, lip burning, itching and headache. They were rushed to the hospital in Godda for check-up.
After getting the information, parents reached the school and took the teacher hostage in protest. Police had to intervene to control the situation from going out of control.
After preliminary check-up, hospital authorities admitted 24 children and released others. Hospital doctor Anant Kumar Jha said the symptoms suggested that the banana were ripened using heavy quantity of chemical called carbide.
“We would be able to comment further after properly examining the children,” he said.
Parents said DDT was sprayed on the school campus two days ago to kill parasites. They doubt even that could have gone into the meals accidentally and affected the children.
School principal Dilip Gupta said: “We all are shocked and widely confused. It is very important for us to know the cause that took the children ill.”
Superintendent of police Sanjiv Kumar said,an inquiry committee had been set up to ascertain the reason of the contamination of the food that led to the sickness.
To provide quality midday meal, the state school education and literacy department plans to rope in public sector units and private firms.
These firms will prepare quality midday meal and deliver it packaged to their respective schools. The state also plans to create a midday meal authority to monitor the functioning of centralised kitchens.